Our living room, dining and kitchen are all in one big great room. There’s no separation of any designated space. To keep things seamless we ran hardwood flooring throughout the entire great room. We went with oak and had it stained Jacobean (you can read more about the installation and staining process here).
I knew that hardwood in the kitchen would be tricky. I considered tile for a brief second but I was afraid it would break up the flow of the spaces to have different flooring and I’m not a huge fan of tile in the kitchen because of grout lines! There really is no way to keep grout clean. Even if you seal the grout you still see discoloration in the high traffic areas or if you spill.
The thing that has been most difficult is how dirty the wood looks most of the time.
Because they are stained dark they show EVERYTHING! I was hoping going with a matte finish would make them look not so glossy and not show mess as much…no such luck. Even after I mop, they look dirty and hazy-gray not one day later. They are incredibly difficult to keep clean. The other frustrating thing is that my boys are constantly dropping utensils, plates, etc on the floors which causes them to chip and dent easily. Even foot prints show up.
I came across this formula called Rejuvenate at Home Depot a few years back which is supposed to restore your floors like new. You’re only supposed to use it every few months. I put the family to bed then apply it and go to bed. In the morning it’s dry and ready to walk on.
While it doesn’t take every scratch out it does a darn good job breathing new life in to them. I would highly recommend it.
Our fridge leaked water once and water sat on the hardwood all night causing them to raise and buckle. I called a hardwood guy in a week later to give me a bid to have them repaired.
When he first walked in he said, “Your floors are…what…about 10 years old?”
Me: “Ahem…2 years old thank you very much.”
Considering his reaction we’ve apparently beat the heck out of our floors…even though we have a no shoe policy they still appear very much “lived in”… as I prefer to call it.
He recommended I leave the buckled floor for a month to see if they would self repair after they’ve been given a good long while to dry out…to my surprise, they did.
The hardwood has been very high maintenance in the kitchen but in order to keep the spaces consistent I would probably do it again. Grout lines still scare me in a kitchen but I might consider doing a faux wood tile similar to the one we used in our basement. I might also consider using a much lighter wood that doesn’t show every little speck of dust and probably go with something that has texture to hide our boo-boo’s. I recently spotted a wood floor that I can’t stop thinking about on Full House that might be a lighter, better option.
What kind of flooring do you have in your kitchen? What have you liked/not liked about it?